A penny saved is a penny earned, or is it?

Actually, a penny gone is two pennies saved.

The US Mint has identified two ways in which it can save significant tax dollars, both of which are simple and should be uneventful.

The first is to eliminate the penny coin as pennies cost more to make than they’re worth.  The one-cent denomination could remain in effect for electronic payments but would not be available for cash transactions which would be rounded to the nearest nickel.  As more people use electronic payment the penny becomes less relevant.

The second is to replace one-dollar paper currency, which wears out fast, with coins.  Past efforts to do this have failed to gain public acceptance for one simple reason that the government refuses to acknowledge.  People don’t want dollars the size of quarters!  Even if they’re a different color and have uneven edges we don’t want them. We do not like them Uncle-Sam-U-am! Here’s where the method of identifying best practices comes in.  Look at how Canada makes it’s one and two-dollar coins.  They’re slightly larger than the half-dollar (which we never see any more anyway) and the two-dollar coin is bimetallic to distinguish it from the one-dollar coin.  Coin material no longer matters because our money is fiat money anyway.  I’ve traveled in Canada and had no trouble adapting to the loonies and twonies.

2016 Update: Canada no longer prints paper money.  It’s newest money is made out of plastic.  It’s more durable than paper, harder to counterfeit, and it has the amount in Braille so clerks can’t cheat blind customers.

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